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Do I need a cherry pitter?

Had some little ones over for dinner last night. I had TONS of cherries, and the little one loves cherries. She pulled off the stems, and I took out the pits. We had quite the assembly line going. She is under 4, so I did not want to let her eat them with the stones still in them. She ate a ton of them- and, needless to say, I looked like I had committed a bloody crime by the time we were through. My nails are still the worse for it, today. So- my question is: does a cherry pitter keep hands and nails clean? Hate to buy one, but will have to, as she really enjoyed them. TIA

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  1. I think you answered your own question. But you asked, so my response woluld be: you probably don't NEED one, but you seem to want one. There might be some electric gadgets available now, but the simple plunger-style is cheap, doesn't take up much space and might help your hands and nails a lot.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ClaireWalter

      Thanks- you are right- I half answered my question- but just wanted to make sure it would keep the hands relatively clean. Would hate to buy one, and have perfectly pitted cherries and still have stained hands! Will keep my eyes out for one- but I definitley don't want an electric one.

    2. I use a chopstick to push the stone out and it's surprisingly effective with very little mess. In fact, I'd bet even a four year old would be able to handle the task. Perhaps not as speedily or as neatly as an adult, but I'll bet she'd have a lot of fun trying.

      2 Replies
      1. re: JoanN

        Will give it a try. She would love to help. Last night she actually made the garlic bread we had for dinner. I slit the Italian bread, mashed the garlic, and grated the sheese. Gave her the garlic, cheese, softened butter and oolice oil She added the ingredients- and told me she really liked cheese, so she wanted to add a lot. After she added all the ingreients, she tasted it- and told me she really liked this kind of butter. I let her spread it on the bread, and popped it in the oven. It was really good, and she really did it all- her mom came in later and was not surprosed- she loves being in the kitchen.
        The chopsticks will be right up her alley! Another gadget I use with the kids in the kitchen are the kiddie scissors. They are good enough tosnip the ends of green or wax beans., or slice up strawberries. Thanks for the tip.

        1. re: macca

          If the OP is still around... I also recommend getting a plastic lettuce knife for kids (something like this http://www.kitchenniche.ca/lettuce-kn... or this http://www.epinions.com/reviews/Oxo_L... ). Obviously should still be used under supervision, but it's a suprisingly effective knife which is also really difficult to cut yourself with. It's my go-to knife for cutting cakes (doesn't scratch plates) and works well with tomatoes and other sometimes slippery foods.

      2. The small, individual pitting, cherry pitter will also make you look like you committed a horrific crime. I never use mine, hate the mess. If you're pitting lots of cherries, there's the bulk pitter, it's self contained (plastic boxlike container) so you don't get messy.

        1 Reply
        1. re: slacker

          Thanks that is the kind of info I needed. Will go with the straw or the chop stick. Only need to pit the cherries when the babies are visiting.

        2. I use a drinking straw to pit cherries, it works really well.

          2 Replies
          1. re: love2bake

            Thanks. Will try the straw and the chop stick. Love this site. This post saved me buying a useless gadget

            1. re: macca

              Don't know about useless. They only cost about 10 bucks at BB&B. However, someone on these boards wrote about putting the cherry on top of a beer bottle and pushing the pit into it. That sounds like it would work well with a chopstick or straw.

          2. I use the manual cherry pitter a lot for fruit salads, & for pitting olives. It's not mess-free, but not very messy either--mostly just a little errant juice spray, and pretty quick & efficient & inexpensive.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Babette

              I pit around 30 pounds of cherries each year (freeze them in 1 pound bags for making cobblers during the winter - yum) and I use the manual cherry pitter. If you do it into a deep bowl the mess is contained. Yeah, your fingers get a little pink, but since I only do this a couple of times a year it's not too bad. I haven't tried it on olives - that sounds great. My daughter likes the pitted black olives from a can *shudder* because she can put them on her fingertips to eat them. Maybe if we pit good kalamatas ourselves she'll do the same thing but without giving mama the willies... ;-)

            2. What you get with a cherry pitter is speed. There's still cherry juice all over the place. You could try getting a pair of cheap latex gloves. Or just wear your stained nails as a badge of baking honor.

              Another pitting option is a bobby pin. Use the looped end to scoop the pit out. As slow, messy, and effective as the chopstick method, in my experience.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Chuckles the Clone

                bobby pin worked just amazing - in a second! Thanks

              2. I have one--the kind with a plunger and a spring--and I use it for cherries and large olives. It was only a few bucks, and it does what it's supposed to.

                For small olives I have a metal olive pitter that you squeeze like an antique pair of shears or a garlic press. That I use a lot, but it's too small for cherries.

                1 Reply
                1. re: David A. Goldfarb

                  I have the $13 Oxo individual pitter which works well for cherries or olives. I bought it originally to use on kalamata olives. It has a removable small clear plastic cylinder that fits around the part of the tool where the pits are ejected and serves as a juice guard. So there is less mess than with other brands.

                2. A cheap cherry pitter and some rubber gloves is my recommendation. Every good cook needs at least one esoteric gizmo in their kitchen, and this one could save a life!